- Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. remains the AL Rookie of the Year favorite
- He is currently sidelined with a left oblique injury
- The Blue Jays assigned Guerrero to their Minor League complex after he suffered his injury
The next step for the Toronto Blue Jays and third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. remains shrouded in mystery. Assigned to the Blue Jays’ minor-league camp in Dunedin, Florida on March 14th after straining an oblique muscle, he made his season debut with the class-A Dunedin Blue Jays last Thursday.
The Blue Jays have not said when Vlad Guerrero Jr will be promoted, no. The belief was that he would be up mid April or later, once service time guaranteed Toronto an extra year of control, but the team has not said that on the record and his injury could push things back.
— Laura Armstrong (@lauraarmy) April 2, 2019
The Blue Jays have made no firm commitment as to when the 19-year-old might be promoted to the major leagues, but that hasn’t halted the hype. 5Dimes continues to list Guerrero as the favorite in its 2019 American League Rookie of the Year odds.
2019 AL Rookie of the Year Award Odds
|Player||2019 AL Rookie of the Year Odds at 5Dimes|
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||+125|
*Odds taken 04/09/19. Click on the link in the table above for a complete list.
Guerrero put up .381/.437/.636 totals with 20 home runs and 78 RBIs across four levels of Toronto’s farm system in 2018. He was voted the Blue Jays’ Minor-League Player of the Year.
Are the Blue Jays Playing Games with Guerrero?
Even with his great numbers last season, the struggling Blue Jays opted not to reward Guerrero with a September call-up when Major League rosters expanded to 40 players. That move raised a few eyebrows and even caught the attention of the MLBPA.
A far bigger issue than pace of play for Major League Baseball is that teams get rewarded for holding back young talent. Guys like Vlad Guerrero, Jr. and Eloy Jimenez have nothing left to prove in the minors. Hope the MLBPA makes this a priority to fix with next CBA
— John Botelho (@JohnBotelhoSJ) August 30, 2018
By keeping him in the Minor Leagues, the Blue Jays are delaying his accumulation of service time at the MLB level and Guerrero’s ultimate eligibility to declare free agency.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will be in the lineup again at 6:30 tonight as the Dunedin Blue Jays continue their four-game series at Hammond Stadium vs. @MiracleBaseball.
— David Dorsey (@DavidADorsey) April 9, 2019
In a rebuilding phase, might Toronto wait on Guerrero in order to keep him around longer once the Blue Jays are back to a scenario where they could once again be part of the playoff hunt?
Vlad Guerrero Jr. went 1 for 4 with a single & a walk in his latest rehab game with Class A Dunedin tonight #BlueJays
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) April 9, 2019
Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro has insisted all along that Guerrero would be on the big league roster as soon as his health in 100 percent.
Like Father, Like Son?
Vladimir Guerrero Sr., like his son, started his career with a Canadian MLB team, debuting with the Montreal Expos in 1996. The elder Guerrero didn’t win the Rookie of the Year Award, but it was one of the few honors that eluded him.
Vlad Jr. is not small. He looks more like a young Cecil Fielder than a young Vladimir Guerrero. https://t.co/PS4IgrsYtf
— David Dorsey (@DavidADorsey) April 9, 2019
He was named American League MVP in 2004 with the Anaheim Angels and retired as the all-time MLB hit leader among players from the Dominican Republic. Guerrero Sr. was induced into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018.
Can Anyone Slay Vlad?
Even if he is a late arrival to Toronto, it would appear that the AL ROY is Guerrero’s to win. The other top candidates for the award are off to slow starts.
wild cards: Mets, Cardinals
wild cards: Yankees, Indians
Dodgers over Astros, 7 games
MVPs: Juan Soto, Mike Trout
Cy Young: Jake deGrom, Justin Verlander
Rookies: Fernando Tatis Jr., Vlad Guerrero Jr.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 28, 2019
Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jiminez is batting below .200. Seattle Mariners pitcher Yusei Kikuchi has yet to record a decision in three starts and owns a 4.02 ERA.
Yusei Kikuchi out here making great hitters look silly. 😳 pic.twitter.com/LYdkGPlyqv
— MLB (@MLB) February 25, 2019
Guerrero can afford to bide his time, but you shouldn’t. Bet him now, while you can still get a decent price.
Pick: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+125)